As the Chinese government remains indecisive on exactly how they want to approach, and even control, the progress of blockchain in China (they seem to rollback and pursue new regulations on a monthly basis), you’d think there would be greater reservation against Chinese coins among enthusiasts – and yet the crypto community in China is flourishing, with coins like NEO and QTUM continuing to attract investor attention. In the past few months, a new name has also emerged on the scene – IOST.
The Internet of Services Token (IOST), at the same time a clever play on the “Internet of Things” and also a promise to take it one step further from things to services, is a token whose blockchain seeks to create a digital ecosystem of services. They claim to offer a scalable and secure infrastructure for online marketplaces and service providers to reach their customers through the promise of up to 100,000 transactions processed per second.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the coin has managed to intrigue both the crypto community and the Chinese government.
The popularity of IOST has taken most blockchain insiders by surprise. Coming in first by both trade and volume the day it was first hosted on Binance, it has managed to attract significant investment from well-known Chinese VCs such as Sequoia Capital China and Zhen Fund. The permission for this type of high-profile VC love from the Chinese government is interesting in itself, and some would interpret the lack of opposition to be unspoken consent. To be fair, as we move beyond the confusion caused by Chinese government memos on crypto last year and the market dive of cryptocurrency values earlier this year, a few things have become clearer.
First, that the Chinese government is not so much against crypto as preferring to pick their own winners. This can be viewed within a tradition of the Chinese openly elevating homegrown technology over foreign ones (case in point, the domestic dominance of Alibaba and WeChat).
Second, the coins that will emerge as those winners need to have powerful application technology and impactful conceptual use cases. You could say that IOST has shown itself to meet those considerations and deserving of potential preferential treatment.
People’s Daily, China’s national newspaper and government mouthpiece, has repeatedly covered IOST in a positive light. The China Blockchain Leader Summit hosted by China Daily, the government-backed international-facing publication, featured IOST co-founder Jimmy Zhong as a panelist next to other industry heavyweights.
IOST’s other co-founder, Ray Xiao, spoke on the Blockchain Panel at the Harvard China Forum, a highly-respected event with political and economic influence.
If IOST’s ambitions are any indication of just how far the founders and backers of this project will take it, then this coin is certainly one to watch. IOST ultimately intends to build a decentralized alternative to major e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Alibaba, run on blockchain and with all the benefits of it – lowered cost, enhanced privacy and increased security.
As it stands currently, around 70-80 percent of IOST buyers are Chinese, but that share is likely to change as this coin continues to climb and international investors look to get in on the game.
Despite any ‘warnings’ by the Chinese government, China remains one of the largest crypto markets in the world and is only expected to grow and flourish. For discerning crypto investors, this space will continue to be one to watch and IOST is likely to remain at the center of it.